Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Vancouver riots? NOT My Doing

The same evening the Boston Bruins captured their first Stanley Cup in almost 30 years, a crestfallen horde of Canucks fans in Vancouver expressed their disappointment by laying waste to their own city. As I think about it now, this makes as much sense as trying to salvage your marriage by banging your wife’s sister, or declaring war against an overseas despot and then hunting your neighbors with a crossbow. (It makes even less sense if your wife's sister is hot or if any of your neighbors are jerks.)

Still, since the turmoil didn’t occur in or near Chicago—in fact, happened 2, 160 miles from my house—I felt no direct effects of the unrest. Most of my family in Canada is even more distant from Vancouver, so I felt pretty confident my mom wasn't doing the stop-drop-and-roll in a public park.

Here’s the funny thing, though: within hours, my voice mailbox started to fill with questions from some of my American friends.

Sooooo Brian, how about what happened in Van…cou…ver?”

“Oh my God…did you hear what your fellow Canadians did?”
As near as I can tell, the thinking behind these calls went something like this:

1.       Something newsworthy happened in Canada.
2.       The Canadian event was newsworthy enough to receive coverage in the U.S.
3.       Brian came from Canada.
4.       Brian must therefore have an opinion about what happened in Canada, and
       4b. He probably knows some of the parties involved.

This logic baffles me. I haven’t lived in Canada since 1998. I’ve only been to Vancouver once—and, when I visited, nobody threw a Molotov cocktail at me, so I thought the city was gorgeous. I’m a Toronto Maple Leafs fan; when they’re out, I don’t automatically cheer for another Canadian team (in fact, during the first round of the playoffs, I wanted the Blackhawks to thrash the Canucks). And, in spite of the notion that Canadians are a peaceful sort who (a) always eat their recommended daily allowance in fiber, (b) have daily contact with polar bears, and (c) never utter a harsh word, I’m not surprised when (d) some of my countrymen act like idiots. I’ve known some. Most often, these few act like idiots because (a) they’re idiots, and (b) Canadians love their beer almost as much as hockey. I presume at least some of those idiots live in Vancouver.
I responded to the news with the same strong reaction I would have afforded riots in Boston, New York or Tuscaloosa (all of which are closer in distance than Vancouver):

“Huh.” This followed by, "Was anyone topless?"
Had a neighbor thrown a rock through my window—two days’ driving distance from Vancouver, but a hell of a lot closer to my non-rock-resistant skull—my response would have been more immediate:

“Hey, what’s with the rock? And where are you going with my flat-screen?”
I love both Canada and the U.S., but little that happens there affects me nearly as much as almost everything that happens here. And yet I’m the Canadian ambassador to almost every American I know whenever Canadians do something stupid. Which got me thinking: what if I called these same friends to hold them personally accountable for everything that happens here?

On the same day as the Vancouver riots—June 15—a report revealed that 70 percent of guns in Mexico came from the U.S. I did not phone my friends to see if they could fix me up with an AK-47 to deal with chipmunks under my front porch. If I get desperate enough, I'll buy a cat.
In Wichita, KS, the temperature rose 20 degrees in just 20 minutes, and yet I did not yell at anyone for fucking with my polar ice cap.
In California, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s mistress confessed that she and Maria Shriver cried together when the truth about Arnie’s love child came out. I spoke of this with no one, because I couldn’t give a shit.
Sure, I could have placed these calls. After all, they happened in the U.S. and many of my friends are American. But I didn’t. As a "nice" Canadian—one of the mostly non-idiotic, non-looting-and-pillaging, I've-never-lived-within-a-thousand-miles-of-Vancouver variety—I don’t play that way.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Not a Tough Guy...Brian Watches "One Man, One Jar"

A few weeks ago, our friends Jack and Kristin visited our home for a few drinks. During a conversation that I had, of course, directed toward the inappropriate, I mentioned that I had once walked into a room as my older boys were watching "Two Girls, One Cup". If you've seen it, you know just how disgusting it is; if you haven't, consider yourself fortunate.

Jack then asked if I'd ever seen "One Man, One Jar". I had not. The attached video (via Facebook) shows my reaction to viewing it for the first time.

WARNING: I swear like a sailor throughout, and Patty's background commentary is equally appalling. At about the mid-point, I convince myself it's completely fake; however, this doesn't keep me from squirming.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ambigiously Successful Negotiations in the Digital Age (Part II)

In the following exchange, can you tell who's incredibly busy and distracted and who has just enough time on his hands to be hopelessly annoying?

The rest of the exchange has been omitted, because Patty doesn't find this funny.


Can YOU Find the Hidden Cottage Cheese Container?

Last night, when my fifteen-year-old son and his unceasing hunger ventured in from outside, I told them they could find leftover chili in the fridge, in a cottage cheese container at the front of the middle shelf. As I would soon learn, I have a tendency to be too vague in my descriptions.

How trained is your eye? Can you spot it? I'll give you a hint: it's in a blue-and-yellow container. Oh, and it's on the MIDDLE shelf, at the FRONT.

"Where is it again, Dad?"

"On the middle shelf, at the front. It's in a cottage cheese container."

"Huh. Hmm. It's not here."

"Really? I just put it there. Did you look?"

"Yes, I looked. It's not here. Are you sure? I see yogurt."

"Yes, there's yogurt. But there's no chili in yogurt containers, to the best of my knowledge. But I can tell you there IS chili in a cottage cheese container. Right there in the front. Middle shelf. Probably by the yogurt."

"No. It's not here."

"It's in a blue container, with a yellow band. It's right there. Really. Did you look AROUND the yogurt?"

"Yes. It must be gone. All that's here is a tub."

"Oh, okay. One question. Is it a cottage cheese tub?"



"I was looking for a clear container with the words 'cottage cheese' on top."

"Yes, son, of course you were"

Priceless. I can't WAIT to show this to future girlfriends.

P.S. In case you couldn't spot the blue-and-yellow cottage cheese container at the front of the middle shelf, check out the reveal below:

See? It's really there!


Ambigiously Successful Negotiations in the Digital Age (Part I)

From a Google Chat exchange with Patty just moments ago:


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It's "Write My Own Obituary" Day

Here's how I imagine it going down:


CHICAGO (Reuters)—Controversial and as-yet-mostly-unknown author Brian O’Mara-Croft, 44, was found dead in his suburban Chicago home yesterday morning in what some on the scene described as “offputting” conditions and at least one regarded as "unspeakably inappropriate."

Although details are as yet unclear, one EMT confirmed the deceased bore a broad grimace pasted across his countenance and a portion of his lower anatomy trapped in “alarming rigor”. Emergency workers quickly left the scene, some holding their pinkie fingers up for delighted onlookers, others in tears.

Said one: “I’m not crying for him. I’ve never even heard of him. Still, alive or deceased, nobody should have to see that.”

His wife of almost 10 years, Patty, shrugged for reporters.

“He died as he lived.” She batted away a tear. “He’d have wanted it this way.”

O’Mara-Croft, who sought international renown for his not-so-family-friendly descriptions of rabbit penises, bat penises, monkey penises, penises ensnared in vacuums and anything “genitalesque”, but whose stated ambition to be "The next Charlie Sheen, admired by millions," was never realized, appears to have suffered a fatal stroke at a time some would consider inopportune. The local coroner refused to speculate whether the film, “Treat Me Like the Pig that I Am #32”, found in the deceased’s DVD player, played any role in his death.

Tearful, his wife added, “I was tired. He was annoyingly drunk. He acted like a big man about how he’d forge on in spite of my refusals.” Looking thoughtful, she added, “I guess this was one journey Mr. Loved-by-Millions needed to take on his own.”

O’Mara-Croft, author of Lost in the Hive, is survived by five children who, although not reached for comment, have been observed smiling and cheerful in spite of the news. A friend of one observed, “You can’t even begin to imagine the weight off of my friend’s shoulders. No son should ever open his Facebook page to a photo of his father dancing in a snowbank in a purple thong. NO son.”

Another friend, who refused to be named, added, “Based on what I saw, I can understand his obsession with penile enhancement. The thong shot looked like two raisins wrestling a malformed earthworm in a frozen coin purse.” On the coroner’s report, the same lower region was described as “average for a Caucasian male.”

Funeral arrangements have yet to be disclosed, although most family members have confirmed they see no reason to attend on a "laundry day".

Reporters caught up with O’Mara-Croft’s widow as she appeared to be pricing coffins at various warehouse stores.

“I came for the jumbo bag of pretzels,” she said, before adding, "And I found them. It's all good."

O’Mara-Croft, in his writing, sought to get a rise out of all of us; ironically, it would seem the rise he got out of himself was his undoing. He will not be missed.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Lost in the Hive CONTEST!!!

My artist-wife Patty created the candy jar shown for the book launch of my book, Lost in the Hive. When this page reaches 500 followers, or when my Facebook "author" page (http://tinyurl.com/4fxxto4) hits 1,000 fans, we will draw a name at random and ship the winner a similar (not exact) "Lost in the Hive"-themed candy jar. Pass it on!!!


P.S. Depending on how long it takes to reach those lofty heights, the jar may contain my ashes.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sarcastic SWM Seeks Wealthy Nymphomaniac

As I goofed off on the web this morning, pretending I was doing something that counts for anything, I happened upon this gem from the Fragrant Liar blog. In one of her latest posts, "Fragrant" (a strange first name that hints at qualities sensual and/or unsettling) riffs on her recent frustrations with online dating.

This got me thinking: If Patty finally does run off with a guy who (a) gets dressed for work, (b) isn't a bum and, therefore, (c) isn't me, and I'm cast back into the world of the love-starved (some females) and sex-starved (all males), how might I make myself stand out from the crowd?

Here's what I came up with:

Bitter, sarcastic DWM, 44, offers simple tastes, simple thoughts, filthy habits. Has teeth, limbs, too-cute wiry hairs on eyebrows and earlobes. Orson Wellesy physique with seductively rounded torso. Inert. Has worked in past. Heavy smoker; even heavier drinker. Very efficient lovemaker. Coward. Fond of occasional showers. Crybaby. Will lick your face when you're angry to cheer you up. Favorite time of day is sex o'clock (get it? I'm full of such verbal treats). Bit of a foodie--most meals consist of (a) ground beef, (b) pasta or (c) ground beef and pasta. Slob. Will help pick lingerie painful and humiliating to you but fashionable and desirable to me. Will not mark territory with urine (bathroom floor and shower curtain excluded). Amateur photographer and videographer (see "lingerie", above). Words like "dropsy" and "ballcock" make me giggle, sometimes for hours. Charmingly flatulent. You: gainfully employed and/or wealthy, nymphomaniac, 24/7 sports watcher, ten toes, should have pulse.

What do you think? Do you sense a possible love connection?


Sunday, March 13, 2011

SUPERZERO--The Adventures of Cap'n Thundersomething

This morning, while relishing an activity Patty deems inappropriate fodder for stories (I was pooping), I happened upon an article in People Magazine called “Superheroes Among Us.” Across the nation, homegrown do-gooders like the Dark Guardian and Phantom Zero don pajamas and bug goggles and hit the mean streets of NY, SF, DC and other acronyms and/or cities. Some fight crime. Others promote patriotism (more difficult than chasing junkies from dark alleys). Still others help the homeless.

At first, I chuckled and thought, “Dorks”. I even reflected upon how super-awesome I was by comparison. And then I realized these 24/7 Halloween people were actually helping those less fortunate. My position softened. From this point forward, they’re Dorks...with Purpose.

Let’s face it: we’ve all yearned for a special gift. As a man, my first dozen items are, of course, carnal. Most involve the moniker "Cap’n ThunderPenis" (sounds best, I think, when pronounced Cap'n Th-th-thuuuuuuuuuuuuuunderPenis)—which, to this day, my wife Patty refuses to call me, even during yay-you’re-drunk-you-can-talk-dirty sex. Patty, of course, focuses on the practical.

“I wish I could just wave a wand and have all this mess go away.”

I look around at our immaculate kitchen, poke my head around the corner into our shiny family room and say, “But the house is spotless.” Whereupon Patty shakes her head and fixes me with a subzero stare.

“No…ALL this mess.”

When I was a kid, I wanted to be the all-powerful cowboy liberating the world from bloodthirsty Indians. BLAM! POW! BLAMMO! The heathen would try to flee, but I’d gun them all down. This would go on for hours, with no adult pausing the action even long enough to inform us that ethnic cleansing, even for pretendsies, was—oh, how to put this—fucking shameful. Even if I can justify my behavior by saying, “I was just a kid,” or “We were less informed in those days,” how then do I explain my assigning the Italian neighbor boys the recurring role of Indians, because somehow that seemed logical?

Some never lose their sense of childhood magic, the dreams of leading good against evil in epic battles. Our son Devin, at almost 21, still poses philosophical questions like, “If the characters from Pokemon went into battle against the Transformers, who would win?” Patty would reply, “                         “* and walk out of the room. I would guess, “Transformers”, which would lead to a 10-minute dissertation about special abilities possessed by the Charizard that Megatron would kill for.

* silence.

When I finished the article (did I mention I'd been pooping?) and returned to the bedroom, I asked Patty, “What special ability could make me a superhero?”

Without a pause: “Well, you drink VERY well.”

“What kind of gift is THAT?”

“Well, you don’t get nasty when you’re drunk.” I was struggling to picture a costume—something bottle-shaped, like me—when Patty added, “But you sometimes get maudlin.”


“Well, you cry during the American national anthem.”

“What’s wrong with that? I’m a patriot!”

“You’re a Canadian!”

Patty then asked what superhero she could be. Drunkman answered without thinking. Mistake.

“How about ‘The Cold Fish’?”

Patty’s mouth fell open. I didn’t dare mention the resemblance to a largemouth bass. She said, “So be it. I’ll be The Cold Fish. No problem*. Nope, no problem at all.”


Patty then renamed me “Offensiveman”, a nod to my gift for saying the most inappropriate thing in every situation. The name will probably stick.

The conversation continued. If we were superheroes, there's a pretty good chance our offspring must also have special powers. So, since Sunday mornings are tailor-made for meaningless whimsies, meet our SuperKids:

THE SMOOCH (aka Devin): Exceptional kissing skills, as evidenced by the 200 or so nauseating Facebook photos of him with his mouth inside his girlfriend’s, like a mother bird barfing up earthworms for her young. Evil.

THE EGOTIST (aka P.J.): Unshakeable belief that no matter how much those around him wish he’d bite his tongue, he feels the world will be a better place when he speaks his mind. We don’t call upon his evil powers often.

THE INDIVIDUALIST (aka Colin): Different from everyone else. If you like something, he won’t. Then, just maybe, you won’t either. And then he’ll like it, because you don’t. Needless to say, he’s quite evil, unless you tell him he is.

TIME STANDS STILL GIRL (aka Kelly): Able to freeze time. No matter what time the family is leaving, or the amount of advance notice provided, and even amid threats of impending child abuse, never walks out the door until everyone else has spent at least 15 minutes grumbling in the car. Unspeakably evil.

THE BEFUDDLER (aka Connor): Promotes insanity. Could convince felons to go straight simply by promising not to ask another pointless question, like, “If you’re such a superhero, why do bears hibernate next to the swallows of San Capistrano?” Evil incarnate.

So we’re all superheroes or supervillains of a sort. Some have more to offer the world than others. Who YOU gonna call?


Saturday, March 5, 2011

So You Want to Be an Author...REALLY?

On June 30, 2009, as I finished my best-ever conversation with my literary agent, I escaped the mammoth throng of faceless aspiring writers and jumped into the more exclusive club of the faceless soon-to-be-published. Lost in the Hive, my collection of off-the-wall true stories, morphed from pie-in-the-sky dream to new reality.

As my kids would say, I was hella stoked.

After the requisite happy dance—and the fleeting thought, “Move over, David Sedaris, there’s a new neurotic humorist in town”—my mind flooded with questions: Would I find summers in Key West too searing? Would Scorsese understand that only George Clooney could capture the requisite “me-ness” to render the film adaptation an Oscar favorite? How on earth could I protect a chapter devoted solely (and self-lovingly) to masturbation? And on my first of a tiresome series of appearances on Oprah, should I go shabby-chic or prom-formal?

In seconds, my brain swapped Fords for Maseratis, modest bungalows for lakefront estates, friends for groupies, anonymity for celebrity, papa for paparazzi.

It took months to extract my bulbous melon from the haven of self-delusion that, these days, passes only for my ass.

Oh, we’ve all heard the stories. Lonely single mom writes fantasy about wizard boy and—poof—becomes more popular than both The Beatles and Christ. Dad says shit, son gets rich. Ex-first-lady scores eight million to dish about the most famous appendage in the free world.

With such boundless fame and fortune swirling about, how much pie could the rest of us—The Newly Published—expect to tuck into?

If you’re already famous, or struggle to find pants that can accommodate both your frame and the cascade of horseshoes raining out your posterior, you’ll get your fill. If you’re a mere mortal, get ready to spend years wondering if you might better have made your name by duping the media about your toddler taking a solo flight in a hot-air balloon.

So, for those of you who aspire to be—or have just learned you’re to become—a published author, allow me to throw a colossal, well-chilled bucket of truth in your face. No charge. And please, no tears.

Truth 1:
You probably won’t be famous

My book hit the shelves in June of 2010. In spite of the best efforts of my publisher, and a near-manic flurry of self-promotion that started months before and that continues to fill my every breathing moment, get this:

I’m still not famous.

Oh, at my local bookstore, the owners may tell a customer, “Here’s one of our local authors,” and I may be rewarded with a tight smile and a, “Oh, how nice for you,” but my presence generates little more enthusiasm than had the owners said, “There’s a few cookies left in the kids’ section. Help yourself.”

My wife is a teacher. We cannot walk our streets without tripping over current and former students. I walk in my spouse’s shadow. If I say hello to most folks, they still avert their gaze.

I’m not bitter. Okay, I’m a little bitter.

Truth 2:
You probably won’t be rich

In 2004, before much of the publishing world swirled down the toilet, 950,000 of the 1.2 million books published in the U.S. sold fewer than 99 copies. Few books ever sell more than 3,000 copies.

If the new math eludes you, allow me to elucidate: This really, really blows.

And it gets worse.

Most authors receive 10 percent of the cover price each time their book sells. If you have an agent, he or she receives 15 percent of this. So, for each copy of my book that moves at its cover price of 15 dollars, I receive $1.27. At 1,000 sales, I’ll come away with $1,270. At 5,000, I’ll pocket $6,350—hardly enough to qualify me as a Beverly Hillbilly, and a bit less than I’d earn as a panhandler.

For six months of full-time toil, this figures out to between a quarter and a dollar per hour. When I was a kid, I wouldn’t even run an errand for my ailing grandfather for these wages. And he paid cash.

Bottom line: if you’re doing this for the money…don’t.

Truth 3:
Book tour? Hahahahaha

Unless you’ve written a book for which a publisher is itching to mortgage its future—or, in other words, you’re a demigod or better—don’t count on your book as the passport to world travel. For most, the “book tour” is an abstraction; in reality, to get your name out there, you’ll fish through your own wallet, time and again, to sell just a handful of books.

Example: I was invited to headline a book signing at a small store in a smaller town an hour west of my home. The costs associated with this visit—gas, meals and such—came to roughly $100. I bought a book from the host store (which an author should always do). New total: $127. To break even, I would need to peddle 100 books. I sold two. To see my books in the hands of two new readers, I invested $124…and that’s for one event.

Moral of the story: if you want to get your name out there—to meet your “fans”—first check the depth of your pockets.

Truth 4:
You may only get one kick at the can

Somebody once told me that your first and second books are “gateway” books, the ditchweed you smoke before the big houses hook you on the heroin of popularity that comes from being a “name” author.

This may be true—as yet, I wouldn’t know—but I do know you have to get to the second book before you get to the third. Have you ever tried to secure a loan when you don’t have credit? Same principle. If your first book struggles for sales—yes, even good books flop—you’ll deteriorate overnight from beautiful swan to ugly duckling. If your book sales soar, you’ll be the belle of the ball; if they don’t, your balls could be bells and nobody would listen.

If you want to be the proud parent of more than one book, do this: sell your house, your soul and, if you’ve got the equipment for it, your body, to get people to read and talk about that first book. You’ll feel dirty, but you’ll have to get dirty if you dream of becoming dirty rich.

Truth 5:
Nobody cares about your story

You may have a fascinating story to tell. See “Oh, how nice for you,” above. Too bad nobody cares. Before you ever contact anyone in the publishing world, ask yourself, “Do I have a fascinating story to SELL?”

In the months since Lost in the Hive reached stores, I’ve thrown myself into two projects: a second collection of humorous essays, and a less rib-tickling memoir of my wife’s near-fatal heart attack and battle with heart disease.

Both are—in my opinion and my agent’s—good, compelling books. I even allow myself the vanity that they’re on par with books you’ll know more than mine.

The few editors who’ve previewed them agree. I’ve been told, “This is hilarious,” and “The story of your wife is heartbreaking.” In each case so far, though, I’ve also been told, “This just isn’t a strong fit for our list right now.” This sounds encouraging, but really it’s publisher-speak for, “Thanks for checking in; now please go away.” Even the best authors in the world know this schtick.

If you want to seduce Random House, Penguin or another of the big boys, you’d better be one amazing, timely and unique writer, or a successful writer who’s already seduced them and left them spent and breathless with your bestseller-list stamina. And that’s just the foreplay.

You’d also better have a selling proposition that blows publishers’ skirts up. You’re too late for zombies, vampires or vampire-hunter presidents. Publishing is a business of dreams, to be sure, but never forget it’s a business, and a fickle one at that.

So know what makes your story stand out, and do your song and dance. Then hope and pray. Failing that, find two or fewer degrees of separation between you and Lady Gaga. I’m no relation; I checked.

Truth 6:
Don’t trade your dream for anything

Since this piece is about truths, I won’t lie—no battle scars will deter me from my dream, and no amount of suckling on the chapped teat of publishing will leave me feeling anything but thirsty. I’ve written a book; ergo, I am an author. Even if I’m never a famous author, and even if the half-life of embarrassment generated by my written candor spans generations, I’ll know I’ve left a legacy.

Oh, and I believe in the ideal marriage of editor and author. I know there’s a special someone out there for me, a literary soulmate who will love me (okay, my work) enough to stand at the altar with me and beyond— ‘til death (or declining sales) do us part.

Sure, if nobody on Earth ever again buys anything I’ve written, I will be crushed. I wrote the stories because I had something real to say, and I’ve always hoped others would listen. If a million people buy Lost in the Hive, I will believe in it just as much—no more, no less—than I did when I first submitted it for consideration.

I’ll persist even when everything tells me I should quit. “Everything” can shut the hell up.

If you want to write, write. You may never find an editor willing to amplify your voice to the world, but you will have done something toward a goal.

At every book signing, I meet someone who says, “Have I got a story for you;” or, “I’m a writer, too;” or, “Can I borrow your pen?” When I ask these aspiring authors where their projects stand, most point to their heads and say, “It’s all in here.” News flash: it’s no good in there. Set it free.

For much of my life I dreamed of being a writer. On June 30, 2009, my dream came true. It’s not precisely the dream I thought I’d get, and it’s not a complete dream, but it’s a dream nonetheless. And I’m living it.

As insane as this may seem, and even if it means I never wash the bitter taste of mediocrity from my mouth, I would give anything, spend anything, do anything, to forever taste this bile, to feel these frustrations, to stay—however tenuously—in this club.

NOTE: If you would like a PDF version of this entry, you can get it HERE.


Monday, February 28, 2011

One of my drones

Hi everyone:

My son Connor, one of the "drones" from my book Lost in the Hive, once agreed to have his head shaved in support of an aunt and cousin who were battling cancer. Things didn't go as well as we had expected. Please check it out!



Friday, January 7, 2011

Parenting...the biggest chore of all

My daughter speaks:

“I will empty the entire dishwasher,” she says to her younger brother—in the same “And just before God napped on Day Seven, He created Me” tone most of us reserve for to-dos like touching up the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel—“But only if you take out all the garbage.”

My son responds, “Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…”, as though we’d asked him to clean my office or pop a boil in my armpit without using his hands or tools. For emphasis, his shoulders, arms, back and legs immediately morph into a wet paste, and a reluctant blob slimes its way into the kitchen.

These high-powered negotiations are de rigueur around our home. I suppose, as parents, we should be more understanding; after all, besides being the ones paying for absolutely everything, we have the gall to carve a merciless 15 minutes into their quality draped-over-a-chair time (and, in the process, allow them to fall 150 texts or so behind). I also suppose I should be able to throw a 95-mph fastball, understand why there’s even one iota of appeal in shows like Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, or fix something…anything. But I cannot, so I settle. I act like a raving bitch.

True, it’s not our children’s fault they were born to parents who—horror of fuckity-fuck horrors—expect them to carry their weight (or at least a portion of it, from the kitchen to the garage). But it’s also not entirely our fault they developed an absurd sense of entitlement that allows them to say, in all sincerity, “But I mowed the lawn twice last year.”

I’ll take some of the blame, but most of it I’ll lay squarely at the feet of those parents who present chores as an option rather than an expectation. If you’ve ever said (or nodded at) the expression, “Let them be children—they’ll grow up fast enough,” watch your back.

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